Exclusive Video: CIO Paula Starr on AI & Human Centricity

Paula Starr, CIO at Cherokee Nation, speaks at Tech LIVE Virtual on the lessons that can be learned in applying creativity in technology delivery

As technological capabilities rapidly grow and expand, your ability to dig deep and find creative ways to apply technology to solve real problems is more important than ever.  In this session, Paula Starr, CIO of Cherokee Nation, the largest federally recognised tribe in the US, shares stories of creative technology delivery and shares lessons learned that technologists can apply in their everyday lives. 

Artificial Intelligence & Human Centricity: Intelligence is Increasingly Artificial but Creativity is Still Human

As Starr describes, the words generative AI can lead to polarising reactions. “As technologists we're all standing on this shared frontier of generative AI and unfortunately, it's not one of those frontiers that we can explore at our leisure. It's hurtling towards us, and so we have to be prepared in that frontier of generative AI,” she comments. 

“There's one or two ways that it can go. The first is excitement about the possibilities. We've only begun to tap into the possibilities. 

“Right now we're at a very surface level, but those superficial ways are pretty darn good.  They’ve helped us eliminate mundane tasks. There are time savings to be had. And of course there are productivity gains.”

But despite the benefits, the technology can cause anxiety. 

“We worry about job losses,” Starr says. “I do worry about the communities around us. I worry about whether we're ready to shift skills for those who could lose their jobs. 

“There's also a worry about loss of data sovereignty. You're plugging in these inputs into generative AI and they're no longer exclusively yours. They become subject to output and to other people's eyes.”

As Starr explains, there are concerns that there are a lack of diverse viewpoints being represented within the building of generative artificial intelligence. 

“In the United States, I feel like there's been a lot of kickback on diversity and inclusion efforts,” she says. “We're seeing it with our politicians and our legislatures. But my opinion is that diversity only makes us stronger. And there are lessons in history that prove that.

“You think about the Navajo code talkers and the other tribes that had code talkers. They absolutely helped us ensure in World War Two that our communications were not intercepted and were not used against us. There's an argument there that diversity has actually saved our democracy. And so, again, I worry that we lose some of that diversity.”

Another essential topic is whether the output of generative AI can be trusted. “We've all heard about AI hallucinations, and so you still have to apply your human brain when you consume some of this output. 

“And finally, there's a fear of readiness. If you are a technologist, you have either already been asked or you're about to be asked, ‘how are you going to apply generative AI for us’? ‘How are you going to let us have those tools’? 

“That question can set you back and it can again fill you with anxiety, but anxiety and worry are truly useless emotions. 

“But as technologists, we have every tool available to us already to adapt and to be ready for generative AI and to be ready to apply any technology that's new. All of those skills are already existing within us and we already have the ability to continue to cultivate them.”

To watch any of our other speakers from Tech LIVE Virtual, click here.

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